Tuesday, 29 April 2008

What is the True Rate of Inflation?

Gordon Brown as Chancellor and latterly as Prime Minister does boast about the low rate of inflation in comparison to the years under the Conservatives.

However, several years ago the Labour Govt. changed the measure of inflation from the Retail Price Index [RPI] to the Consumer Price Index [CPI] . As can be seen from the graph from the ONS website these rates of inflation do differ by a substantial amount.

The govt can only boast about low inflation when quoting the CPI because the index is made up of many non essential items or one off purchases. However, the old RPI consists of mortgage rates, fuel costs and basic food items - all the necessities of life. The rate of RPI compared to CPI is consistently higher e.g. Nov 2007 RPI = 4.3 % CPI = 2.1 %

I find it particularly interesting that the Govt quote CPI rate of inflation when it serves its own ends and then uses the 'defunct' RPI when to its advantage. Therefore when working out the rate needed to increase the state pension it will use the CPI. Many local govt/civil service pensions are increased annually by the RPI rate. But students' loans will have the interest rate calculated using the RPI rate.

In other words, it appears to me, that if the Govt have to pay out money then they use the CPI but if they are claiming money back from us or to award themselves pay/pension increases then its the RPI figures that are used. MP's pensions are the best available - and are costing taxpayers a fortune.

Monday, 28 April 2008

Just Good Friends

What a lovely surprise. I popped in to check on emails, my bank balance, update anti- virus and firewall and then a fast sneaky look at the blog world.

I popped in on Merrydaze and then over to Stinking Billy. And what do I find? Why I find that St Billy left his word processor to go out to meet up with another woman. Crystal and he have had a meeting - well a cuddle to be precise. I rushed over to Crystal's Palace and find the meeting included a photo shoot.

Friday, 25 April 2008

Red Arrows 2012 Olympics

There has been a petition raised to overturn the view by the
"Department of Culture, Media and Sport have deemed the RAF Red Arrows
as Unsuitable for the 2012 Olympics because they are too British.
This is a
ridiculous decision and should be overturned in the name of common sense."

If you agree then click on this link to sign the petition. You will be sent an email with a request to click on a link - once you have done this your name will be added to the petition. The emailed link is just to make sure you are a person and not some robotic machine trying to place fictitious names on the petition.

Monday, 21 April 2008

Do you Agree With Me?...

I have this hanging in my kitchen - a warning to any who dare to disagree with me. If she had glasses she would look just like me.

Moved to Tears

I was first moved to tears by a movie when I was very young. "John and Julie" was about a young boy and his younger sister travelling to London for the Queen's coronation. At some point Julie becomes lost in the crowds. Much time is spent with John pushing his way through the crowds calling out "Julie, ..... Julie......., Julie......" with shots of Julie surrounded by crowds of adults calling out "John......, John.......".

A bit like Leonardo and Kate on the Titanic "Jack......, Jack ........, Jack........". However, even though Kate was wet and cold while she tried to find Jack, I remained unmoved by the Titanic experience.

I was moved to shed tears as I was fearful that John and Julie would not be reunited. It was my first visit to the movies. I had to sit on the upturned seat so I could see over the adult shoulders in front of me. The velvety plush of the seat tickling the backs of my thighs. Being 6 years old I didn't realise the film was a comedy. I don't remember laughing. I just remember the emotions it aroused in me along with the haunting music. As to the theme tune I'm not at all surprised to find it was played by Eddie Calvert. There was a haunting sweetness to his playing.

Saturday, 19 April 2008

Aspiring Author

Once many years ago I was an aspiring author. I had aspirations to be a published writer. To be an author.

I can clearly remember the opening sentence of my first draft paragraph.

"The judge placed the black cap on top of his wig and pronounced sentence on
the prisoner. "You will be taken from this place to prison from whence you
will be taken to a place to suffer death by hanging"

As you can see I was attempting a dramatic opening. I remember clearly the events that raised this rich seam of drama in my mind. I was young at the time of the murder. It was the first murder of which I became aware of newspaper coverage of the crime, the victims, and then the trial. I remember my father's distress over the hanging of a man who may well be innocent.

My father didn't agree with 'legalised murder'. He thought that a sentence of imprisonment for life was sufficient punishment. It allowed for errors in judgement, mistaken identity or other extenuating circumstances. When he was explaining his thoughts to me he told me he came to this decision when Derek Bentley was hanged for murder. A shooting of a policeman committed in Croydon in by Bentley/Craig obviously aroused a great deal of local interest at the time. Many years later it still distressed my father. He was worried that another man was about to be hanged when he may have been innocent of the crime.

I'm not quite sure where I intended to go after this dramatic opening. I'd worked out the beginning. But it had no middle and no ending. The latter surprises me. It surprises me because I have always chosen my books by reading by the last paragraph first.

Thursday, 17 April 2008

Desktop Meme

Many months ago I was tagged by teeni to give a glimpse of the 'real' me by taking a snapshot of my onscreen 'desktop'. I never did get around to posting about it. Now that I've been tagged again with the same project by MaggieMay I feel guilty that I never completed it the first time around!

So I've decided to do a double desktop challenge.

The first desktop on the left is a snapshot of my PC desktop taken in September when I had every intention of trying to do something interesting. I didn't think my desktop looked at all fascinating which is probably why the post petered out and died. As you can see I don't change it from whatever MS Windows and added software pacakges supply. However, what you can't see is that whenever I am away from my keyboard for more than 30 minutes a photo slide show screensaver kicks in. I've thousands of photos, local scenes, gardens, plants, family snaps, pets, friends and local architecture. It's lovely not knowing what pictures will be metamorphosing on to the screen when I return to my desk.

The second photo is my whole desktop with all its junk, notebooks etc so you can see what an untidy disorganised worker I am. It may look untidy and disorganised but I never lose anything. It's just that I have a vertical filing system.

Now I don't have time to pop around many folk to ask them to take part - so I'll just a list a few people I would love to know a bit more about. I hope they'll join in if they have the time

  1. Mark Wadsworth
  2. Richard Madeley
  3. Flowerpot
  4. Mopsa of Ramblings

and anyone else who feels they would like to have a go at this meme then please consider yourself as 'tagged'..

If you do the desktop meme please leave me a comment so I know to pop over to view. I would be interested in the double desktop view - I am particularly nosey, you see.

Sunday, 13 April 2008

Chatty Bloggers Award

I would like to nominate the following for the chatty bloggers award:

I feel I would enjoy a cup of tea and a good chat with any of the above. There are others but when I've visited their blogs I see they already have won one.

Saturday, 12 April 2008

Award for Being a Gossip

Retired and Crazy has very kindly given me an Award. I haven't yet had chance to find who I'll be passing it onto but will be back soon to nominate some other chatty bloggers.

I Am Revolting

I am revolting - and I wish more people would sign up for an apathy bypass and join the revolt wagon.

Today I wish to join the revolt against Tesco. The best news I've heard all day is about Dot Reid a 58 year old from Liverpool who is trying to save her home from yet another Tesco store. She wants the Tesco's boss Sir Terry Leahy to have a taste of his own medicine. She has submitted a planning application to Hertfordshire to demolish his mansion to provide a community garden, with water feature and a kiosk for pensioners.

I just hope thousands of people will write in to support her planning application. Just think of the thousands of jobs it will provide as tourists would flock to the area just to enjoy the community gardens ...

If you would like to let the council planning dept know what you think of this planning application all the details can be found here.

Remember Power to the PEOPLE

Tesco doesn't seem very popular does it - here are a few varied views of the Tesco juggernaut: -





Thursday, 10 April 2008

Olympic Torch Procession

The Olympic Torch procession through London, Paris and latterly San Fransisco has been very amusing. When I first saw the procession on TV I thought it was an advert then I realised it was the phalanx of guards around the torch. I didn't realise the rough men in blue tracksuits were a Chinese contingent from the 'heavy mob' manhandling our citizens on our streets. If I'd known I'd have been up there with them protesting.

Wednesday, 2 April 2008

My April Blog Selection

I would just like to draw you attention to some blogs I have enjoyed which are now listed under 'My April Blog Selection' in the right hand column.